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Getting an Ultrasound as a Keepsake? Don't, Says the Government


"Although there is a lack of evidence of any harm..."

(Image via Stephen Scott/flickr)

Uncle Sam to the pregnant women of America: you'll have plenty of time to get baby pictures once your child has actually been born.

On Tuesday, the FDA released an advisory urging expectant mothers not to get "keepsake" sonograms — that is, ultrasounds that serve no medical purpose.

(Image via Stephen Scott/flickr) (Image via Stephen Scott/flickr)

The FDA's warning acknowledges that the risks associated with ultrasounds are unclear, but makes it clear that avoiding "keepsake" ultrasounds is in solid "better safe than sorry" territory.

"Although there is a lack of evidence of any harm due to ultrasound imaging and heartbeat monitors, prudent use of these devices by trained health care providers is important," said FDA biomedical engineer Shahram Vaezy. "Ultrasound can heat tissues slightly, and in some cases, it can also produce very small bubbles (cavitation) in some tissues."

Non-medical ultrasounds got a big boost in the public eye back in 2005, after Tom Cruise told the world he'd purchased his very own ultrasound machine to monitor Katie Holmes pregnancy.

Connecticut became the first state to ban non-medical ultrasounds back in 2009, following the medical community's condemnation of Cruise's sonogram strategy.

No matter how tempting the adorable Etsy items featuring ultrasound pictures might be, it's worth remembering that the FDA isn't the only group down on commercial ultrasounds — the practice has been disavowed by every group from the American Medical Association to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American Pregnancy Association.

(H/T: The Atlantic)

Follow Zach Noble (@thezachnoble) on Twitter

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